• Total non-farm payroll employment increased 638 thousand in October, following an increase of 672 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 906 thousand, while government employment decreased by 268 thousand. In October, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction. Employment in government declined over the month, mainly in state and local government education. The unemployment rate decreased to 6.9% in October, from 7.9% in September. The unemployment rate was 3.6% in October 2019.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 1,519 thousand to 11.061 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 1,151 thousand to 3.556 million and accounted for 32.5% of the unemployed. Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 1.4 million in October to 3.2 million. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.1 million in April but is 2.4 million higher than in February.
  • The labor force participation rate increased to 61.7% in October, from 61.4% in September, while the employment-population ratio increased from 56.6% to 57.4%.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.8 hours.
  • In October, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 4 cents to $29.50. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 4.5%, but with the warning from the Bureau of labor Statistics: “The large employment fluctuations over the past several months—especially in industries with lower-paid workers—complicate the analysis of recent trends in average hourly earnings.”
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 7 thousand to 751 thousand in the week ending October 31. The 4-week moving average was 787 thousand, a decrease of 4 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 24 was 7,285 thousand, a decrease of 538 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 8,244.5 thousand, a decrease of 827.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.0% for the week ending October 24, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
  • Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 4.9% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as output increased 43.5% and hours worked increased 36.8% (seasonally adjusted annual rates). Over the last four quarters (from the third quarter of 2019), nonfarm business productivity increased 4.1%. Unit labor costs in the nonfarm business sector decreased at an annual rate of 8.9% in the third quarter of 2020, reflecting a 4.4% decrease in hourly compensation and a 4.9% increase in productivity. The third-quarter decline in unit labor costs was the largest decline since the first quarter of 2009, when the measure fell 13.4%. Unit labor costs increased 2.5% over the last four quarters.
  • The international trade in goods and services deficit was $63.9 billion in September, down $3.2 billion from $67.0 billion in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. September exports were $176.4 billion, $4.4 billion more than August exports. September imports were $240.2 billion, $1.2 billion more than August imports. The September decrease in the goods and services deficit reflected a decrease in the goods deficit of $3.1 billion to $80.7 billion and an increase in the services surplus of less than $0.1 billion to $16.8 billion. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $38.5 billion, or 8.6%, from the same period in 2019. Exports decreased $329.0 billion or 17.4%. Imports decreased $290.4 billion or 12.4%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates decreasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.78% for the week ending November 5, down from last week when it averaged 2.81%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.69%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.32%, unchanged from the previous week. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.13%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 3.8% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 30, 2020.
  • There were 48,996,342 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,237,773 deaths, and 32,330,456 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 11/6/2020, 13:00 EST). In the United States, there are 9,643,922 confirmed cases, 235,199 deaths, and 3,781,751 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 33.1% in the third quarter of 2020, according to the “advance” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) . In the second quarter, real GDP decreased 31.4%. BEA stated: “The increase in third quarter GDP reflected continued efforts to reopen businesses and resume activities that were postponed or restricted due to COVID-19. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the GDP estimate for the third quarter of 2020 because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 25.5% in the third quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 28.1% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 3.4% in the third quarter, compared with a decrease of 1.4% in the previous quarter.  The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 3.7%, compared with a decrease of 1.6% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 3.5%, compared with a decrease of 0.8%.
  • Personal income increased 0.9% in September according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Disposable personal income increased 0.9% and personal consumption expenditures increased 1.4%. Real disposable personal income increased 0.7% in September, while real personal consumption expenditures increased 1.2%. The personal consumption expenditures price index (headline index) and the core index both increased 0.2% in September. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased 1.4% from September 2019, while the core index also increased 1.5%. BEA stated: “The September estimate for personal income and outlays was impacted by the response to the spread of COVID-19. Federal economic recovery payments slowed, as pandemic-related assistance programs continued to wind down. The full economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be quantified in the personal income and outlays estimate because the impacts are generally embedded in source data and cannot be separately identified.”
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 40 thousand to 751 thousand in the week ending October 24. The 4-week moving average was 787.75 thousand, a decrease of 24.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 17 was 7,756 thousand, a decrease of 709 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 9,053.25 thousand, a decrease of 1,055.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.3% for the week ending October 17, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
  • Unemployment rates were higher in September than a year earlier in 388 of the 389 metropolitan areas and lower in 1 area, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 73 areas had jobless rates of less than 5.0% and 31 areas had rates of at least 10.0%. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 251 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 138 areas. The national unemployment rate in September was 7.7%, not seasonally adjusted, up from 3.3% a year earlier.
  • Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.5%, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending in September 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries increased 0.4% and benefit costs increased 0.6% from June 2020. Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 2.4% for the 12-month period ending in September 2020 and increased 2.8% in September 2019. Wages and salaries increased 2.5% over the year and increased 2.9% for the 12-month period ending in September 2019.
  • From December 2019 to March 2020, gross job gains from opening and expanding private-sector establishments were 7.0 million, a decrease of 901,000 jobs from the previous quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over this period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private-sector establishments were 7.7 million, an increase of 685,000 jobs from the previous quarter. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment loss of 773,000 jobs in the private sector during the first quarter of 2020.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates remained relatively flat. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 2.81% for the week ending October 29, up slightly from last week when it averaged 2.80%. A year ago, the 30-year rate was 3.78%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.32%, down slightly from last week when it averaged 2.33%. A year ago, the 15-year rate was 3.19%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 1.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 23,2020.
  • There were 45,629,082 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,189,515 deaths, and 29,712,661 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 10/31/2020, 5:00 EST). In the United States, there are 9,047,637 confirmed cases, 229,708 deaths, and 3,578,452 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Privately-owned housing starts in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,415,000. This is 1.9% above the revised August estimate of 1,388,000 and is 11.1% above the September 2019 rate of 1,274,000. Single-family housing starts in September were at a rate of 1,108,000; this is 8.5% above the revised August figure of 1,021,000.
  • Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,553,000. This is 5.2% above the revised August rate of 1,476,000 and is 8.1% above the September 2019 rate of 1,437,000. Single-family authorizations in September were at a rate of 1,119,000; this is 7.8% above the revised August figure of 1,038,000.
  • Total existing home sales increased 9.4% in September from the previous month, and sales were up 20.9% from a year ago.  The median existing home price was $311.8 thousand, up 14.8% from September 2019. Total housing inventory at the end of September was 1.47 million, 19.2% below a year ago. This inventory was at a 2.7-month supply at the current sales rate, down from 4.0 month a year ago.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average mortgage rates continued their downward trend. 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 2.80% for the week ending October 22, down from last week when it averaged 2.81%. A year ago, the 30-year rate was 3.75%. 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.33%, down from last week when it averaged 2.35%. A year ago, the 15-year rate was 3.18%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 16th.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 55 thousand to 787 thousand in the week ending October 17. The 4-week moving average was 811.25 thousand, a decrease of 21.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 10 was 8,373 thousand, a decrease of 1,024 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 10,085.75 thousand, a decrease of 1,093.5 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.7% for the week ending October 10, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “California has completed its pause in processing of initial claims and has resumed reporting actual unemployment insurance claims data based on their weekly claims activity. This News Release reflects actual counts for California for the current week and revisions to the two prior weeks.”
  • Unemployment rates were lower in September in 30 states, higher in 8 states, and stable in 12 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All 50 states and the District had jobless rate increases from a year earlier. The national unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point over the month to 7.9 percent but was 4.4 points higher than in September 2019. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 30 states, decreased in 3 states, and was essentially unchanged in 17 states and the District of Columbia in September 2020. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 48 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in 2 states.
  • There were 41,923,630 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,140,010 deaths, and 28,418,225 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 10/23/2020, 13:00 EST). In the United States, there are 8,428,640 confirmed cases, 223,289 deaths, and 3,353,056 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for September were up 1.9% from the previous month, and were up 5.4% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 1.5% from the previous month, and were up 3.0% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were down 0.8% from the first nine months of 2019.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for August increased 0.6% from July, following a 3.4% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.3%, following a 0.1% increase in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.32 in August, compared with 1.39 a year ago.
  • Total Industrial production decreased 0.6% in September, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. Total industrial production in September was 7.3% below its level a year earlier. The rate of capacity utilization decreased to 71.5%, 8.3 percentage points below its 1972-2019 average, and 5.9 percentage points below September 2019.
  • Import prices increased 0.3% in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 1.0% increase in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 1.1% from September 2019. The price index for exports increased 0.6% in September, after an increase of 0.5% in the previous month. Prices for exports decreased 1.8% over the past year.
  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.4% in September, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade held also increased 0.4%, following a 0.3% increase in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand increased 0.4% from September 2019 to September 2020, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.7%.
  • The consumer price index increased 0.2% in September, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The core index also increased 0.2%, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.4% for the 12-month period ending in September, while the core index rose 1.7%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.1% from August to September. This result stems from an increase of 0.1% in average hourly earnings being more than offset by an increase of 0.2% in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 53 thousand to 898 thousand in the week ending October 10. The 4-week moving average was 866.25 thousand, an increase of 8 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending October 3 was 10,018 thousand, a decrease of 1,165 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 11,481.75 thousand, a decrease of 682.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 6.8% for the week ending October 3, a decrease of 0.9 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “In response to recommendations resulting from an internal review of state operations, the state of California has announced a two week pause in its processing of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. The state will use this time to reduce its claims processing backlog and implement fraud prevention technology. Recognizing that the pause will likely result in significant week to week swings in initial claims for California and the nation unrelated to any changes in economic conditions, California’s initial claims published in the UI Claims News Release will reflect the level reported during the last week prior to the pause. Upon completion of the pause and the post-pause processing, the state will submit revised reports to reflect claims in the week during which they were filed.”
  • Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 109.7 million full-time wage and salary workers were $994 in the third quarter of 2020 (not seasonally adjusted), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 8.2% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.2% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers over the same period. Women had median weekly earnings of $902, or 81.7% of the $1,104 median for men. It was stated: “Usual weekly earnings data for the third quarter of 2020 continue to reflect the impact on the labor market of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it. Changes in weekly earnings in recent quarters must be interpreted with caution. More information on labor market developments in recent months is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-and-response-on-theemployment-situation-news-release.htm.”
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates dropped further, to its lowest levels in survey’s history dating back to 1971. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.81% for the week ending October 15, down from last week when it averaged 2.87%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.69%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.35%, down from last week when it averaged 2.37. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.15%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 0.7% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 9,2020.
  • The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment increased to 81.2 in October, from 80.4 in September. The Index was 95.5 in October of last year. The Current Economic Conditions Index decreased from 87.9 in September to 84.9 in October, while The Index of Consumer Expectations increased from 75.6 to 78.8.
  • There were 39,081,143 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,100,635 deaths, and 26,950,857 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 10/16/2020, 14:45 EST). In the United States, there are 8,008,402 confirmed cases, 218,097 deaths, and 3,177,397 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • The goods & services deficit was $67.1 billion in August, up $3.7 billion from $63.4 billion in July, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. August exports were $171.9 billion, $3.6 billion more than July exports. August imports were $239.0 billion, $7.4 billion more than July imports. The August increase in the goods and services deficit reflected an increase in the goods deficit of $3.0 billion to $83.9 billion and a decrease in the services surplus of $0.7 billion to $16.8 billion. Year-to-date, the goods and services deficit increased $22.6 billion, or 5.7%, from the same period in 2019. Exports decreased $296.1 billion or 17.6% and imports decreased $273.5 billion or 13.1%.
  • State personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased 3.9% in 2019, a deceleration from the 4.9% increase in 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in PCE across all states ranged from 5.7% in Utah to 1.8% in Vermont. Expenditures on housing and utilities, and on health care grew 4.3% and 4.5%, respectively, and were the leading contributors to growth nationally.
  • The number of job openings was little changed at 6.5 million on the last business day of August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hires were little changed at 5.9 million in August. Total separations decreased to 4.6 million. Within separations, the quits rate was little changed at 2.0% while the layoffs and discharges rate decreased to a series low of 1.0%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 9 thousand to 840 thousand in the week ending October 3. The 4-week moving average was 857 thousand, a decrease of 13.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 26 was 10,976 thousand, a decrease of 1,003 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 12,112.25 thousand, a decrease of 642 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 7.5% for the week ending September 26, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. It was stated that: “In response to recommendations resulting from an internal review of state operations, the state of California has announced a two week pause in its processing of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. The state will use this time to reduce its claims processing backlog and implement fraud prevention technology. Recognizing that the pause will likely result in significant week to week swings in initial claims for California and the nation unrelated to any changes in economic conditions, California’s initial claims published in the UI Claims News Release will reflect the level reported during the last week prior to the pause. Upon completion of the pause and the post-pause processing, the state will submit revised reports to reflect claims in the week during which they were filed.”
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed average fixed mortgage rates were little changed. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.87% for the week ending October 8, slightly down from last week when it averaged 2.88%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate averaged 3.57%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.37%, slightly up from last week when it averaged 2.36. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed-rate averaged 3.05%.
  • Mortgage applications increased 4.6% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending October 2,2020.
  • There were 36,883,768 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,068,198 deaths, and 25,663,552 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 10/10/2020, 3:20 EST). In the United States, there are 7,664,676 confirmed cases, 213,787 deaths, and 3,039,089 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.
  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased 661 thousand in September, following an increase of 1,489 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 877 thousand in September, while government employment decreased by 216 thousand. In September, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, in retail trade, in health care and social assistance, and in professional and business services. Employment in government declined over the month, mainly in state and local government education. The unemployment rate decreased to 7.9% in September, from 8.4% in August. The unemployment rate was 3.5% in September 2019.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 970 thousand to 12.580 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 781 thousand to 2.405 million and accounted for 19.1% of the unemployed. Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff decreased by 1.5 million in September to 4.6 million. This measure is down considerably from the high of 18.1 million in April but is 3.8 million higher than in February.
  • The labor force participation rate decreased to 61.4% in September, from 61.7% in August, while the employment-population ratio increased from 56.5% to 56.6%.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 to 34.7 hours.
  • In September, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 2 cents to $29.47. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 4.7%.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance decreased 36 thousand to 837 thousand in the week ending September 26. The 4-week moving average was 867.25 thousand, a decrease of 11.75 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (ongoing) during the week ending September 19 was 11,767 thousand, a decrease of 980 thousand from the previous week’s revised level. The 4-week moving average was 12,701.25 thousand, a decrease of 381.25 thousand from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 8.1% for the week ending September 19, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. It was stated that: “In response to recommendations resulting from an internal review of state operations, the state of California has announced a two week pause in its processing of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. The state will use this time to reduce its claims processing backlog and implement fraud prevention technology. Recognizing that the pause will likely result in significant week to week swings in initial claims for California and the nation unrelated to any changes in economic conditions, California’s initial claims published in the UI Claims News Release will reflect the level reported during the last week prior to the pause. Upon completion of the pause and the post-pause processing, the state will submit revised reports to reflect claims in the week during which they were filed.”
  • Unemployment rates were higher in August than a year earlier in 387 of the 389 metropolitan areas, and lower in 2 areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment decreased over the year in 254 metropolitan areas and was essentially unchanged in 135 areas.
  • Real GDP decreased at an annual rate of 31.4% in the second quarter of 2020, according to the “third” estimate by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 5.0%. In the second estimate, released a month ago, the decrease in real GDP was 31.7% for the second quarter.
  • Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) decreased 28.1% in the second quarter, following a decrease of 3.6% in the first quarter.
  • Real gross domestic income (GDI) decreased 33.5% in the second quarter of 2020, following a decrease of 2.5% in the first quarter.
  • The average of real GDP and real GDI, a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity that equally weights GDP and GDI, decreased 32.5% in the second quarter, compared with a decrease of 3.7% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases decreased 1.4% in the second quarter of 2020, compared with an increase of 1.4% in the previous quarter.
  • The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index decreased 1.6% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.3% in the previous quarter. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index decreased 0.8% in the second quarter, compared with an increase of 1.6% in the previous quarter.
  • Corporate profits from current production decreased $208.9 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $276.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic financial corporations increased $26.5 billion in the second quarter, in contrast to a decrease of $42.2 billion in the previous quarter. Profits of domestic nonfinancial corporations decreased $145.9 billion, compared with a decrease of $190.5 billion in the previous quarter. The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $89.5 billion, compared with a decrease of $43.5 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income decreased 2.7% in August, and personal consumption expenditures increased 1.0%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures increased 0.3% in August, following a 0.4% increase in the previous month. The core index also increased 0.4% in August.  The headline index was up 1.4%, and the core index was up 1.6% from August 2019.
  • Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the second quarter of 2020, as real GDP for the nation decreased at an annual rate of 31.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in real GDP in the second quarter ranged from negative 20.4% in the District of Columbia to negative 42.2% in Hawaii and Nevada
  • August construction spending was up 1.4% from the previous month and was up 2.5% from a year ago. Residential construction increased 3.7%, while nonresidential construction decreased 0.1%. Total private construction increased 1.9% in August, while total public construction increased 0.1%. Year-to-date total construction was up 4.2% from the same period in 2019. Total private construction was up 3.6% during the first eight months of the year from the same period in 2019, while total public consumption was up 6.1%.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates decreasing. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.88% for the week ending October 1, down slightly from last week when it averaged 2.90%. A year ago, at this time, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.65%. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 2.36%, down slightly from the previous week when it averaged 2.40%. A year ago, at this time, the 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.14%.
  • Mortgage applications decreased 4.8% from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 25, 2020.
  • The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) manufacturing survey indicated that the manufacturing sector grew in September, and the overall economy grew for the 5th consecutive month. The headline index was 55.4, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from the August reading of 56.0.
  • There were 34,324,207 COVID-19 confirmed cases in the world, 1,023,451 deaths, and 23,879,516 recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University, Coronavirus Resource Center (access date and time: 10/2/2020, 7:00 EST). In the United States, there are 7,279,065 confirmed cases, 207,816 deaths, and 2,860,650 recovered cases. The world is struggling to control the spread of the virus.

 

  • State personal income grew 34.2% on average in the second quarter of 2020, after increasing 4.1% in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The percent change in personal income ranged from 15.3% in the District of Columbia to 76.3% in Massachusetts.
  • New orders for manufactured durable goods in August increased $1.0 billion or 0.4% to $232.8 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This increase, up four consecutive months, followed an 11.7% July increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.7%. Machinery, also up four consecutive months, led the increase by 1.5%.
  • Shipments of manufactured durable goods in August, down following three consecutive monthly increases, decreased 0.3% to $244.1 billion. This followed a 7.6% July increase. Transportation equipment, also down following three consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, with 1.7%.
  • Inventories of manufactured durable goods in August, down three consecutive months, decreased 0.1% to $420.5 billion. This followed a 0.8% July decrease. Machinery, down seven of the last eight months, led the decrease by 0.6%
  • Sales of new single-family houses in August 2020 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,011 thousand, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 4.8% above the revised July rate of 965 thousand and is 43.2% above the August 2019 estimate. The median sales price of new houses sold in August 2020 was $312.8 thousand. The average sales price was $369 thousand. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of August (inventory) was 282 thousand. This represents a supply of 3.3 months at the current sales rate.
  • The median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with their current employer was 4.1 years in January 2020, little changed from 4.2 years in January 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Advance estimates of retail and food services sales for August were up 0.6% from the previous month, and were up 2.6% from a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Excluding motor vehicle & parts, retail sales were up 0.7% from the previous month and were up 2.1% from a year ago. Year-to-date, retail sales were down 1.8% from the first eight months of 2019.
  • Total manufacturing and trade sales for July increased 3.2% from June, following an 8.6% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Inventories increased 0.1%, following a 1.1% decrease in the previous month. The total business inventories/sales ratio was 1.33 in July, compared with 1.39 a year ago.
  • Housing starts in August were down 5.1% from the previous month but were up 2.8% from a year ago. Building permits were down 0.9% from the previous month and were down 0.1% from August 2019.
  • The current account deficit increased to $170.5 billion in the second quarter, from $111.5 billion in the first quarter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. This is the largest deficit recorded since the third quarter of 2008 when it was $178.2 billion. The deficit increased to 3.5% of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.1% in the first quarter.
  • The net worth of households and nonprofits rose to $119.0 trillion at the end of second quarter of 2020, compared with $111.3 trillion at the end of the first quarter, and $114.0 trillion at the end of second quarter of 2019.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 25.3% in the second quarter of 2020, compared with an annual rate of 10.6% in the previous quarter.
  • Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $59.3 trillion at the end of the second quarter of 2020, of which household debt was $16.1 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $17.6 trillion, and total government debt was $25.6 trillion.
  • Unemployment rates were lower in August in 41 states, higher in 2 states, and stable in 7 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All fifty states and the District of Columbia had jobless rate increases from a year earlier. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 40 states in August 2020 and was essentially unchanged in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Over the year, nonfarm payroll employment decreased in 49 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in 1 state.

 

  • The producer price index for total final demand increased 0.3% in August, following a 0.6% increase in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.3%, the same increase as in the previous month. The producer price index for final demand decreased 0.2% from August 2019 to August 2020, while the index for final demand less foods, energy and trade increased 0.3%.
  • Import prices increased 0.9% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, following a 1.2% increase in the previous month. Prices for imports decreased 1.4% from August 2019. The price index for exports increased 0.5% in August, after a 0.9% increase in the previous month. Prices for exports decreased 2.8% over the past year.
  • Both the headline and the core consumer price index increased 0.4% in August, following a 0.6% increase as in the previous month. The consumer price index increased 1.3% for the 12-month period ending in August, while the core index rose 1.7%.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from July to August. This result stems from 0.4% increase in average hourly earnings offset by a 0.4% increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers.

 

  • Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 1,371 thousand in August, following an increase of 1,734 thousand in the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector payrolls increased by 1,027 thousand, while government employment increased by 344 thousand. In August, an increase in government employment largely reflected temporary hiring for the 2020 Census. Notable job gains also occurred in retail trade, in professional and business services, in leisure and hospitality, and in education and health services.
  • The unemployment rate decreased to 8.4% in August, from 10.2% in July. The unemployment rate was 3.7% in August 2019.
  • The number of unemployed decreased by 2,788 thousand to 13.550 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 123 thousand to 1.624 million.
  • The labor force participation rate increased by 0.3 percentage point to 61.7% in August.
  • The average workweek of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hours to 34.6 hours.
  • In August, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 11 cents to $29.47. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings were up 4.7%.